RunDown_EarthDayLong Island parks and environmental groups are hosting a slew of events in honor of the 43rd anniversary of Earth Day, such as tree plantings, exhibitions, presentations, and sight-seeing hikes aimed at educating communities about the importance of taking care of the world.

From defeating the Shoreham Nuclear Power Plant in the 1980s to more recently sinking a proposal to build a Broadwater LNG hub in the Long Island Sound, local environmentalists have a proud record of accomplishments despite the daunting fights that remain. But the annual Earth Day celebrations give advocates and the public a moment to pause and reflect.

“Earth Day continues to be a global movement to raise the consciousness of individuals, families, communities, businesses and government about how to co-exist with the environment in a sustainable manner,” said  Joseph Martens, commissioner of New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

Earth Day was founded by Wisconsin U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson after observed the catastrophic Oil spill in Santa Barbara, California on January 29, 1969. A year later an estimated 20 million Americans protested for a more balanced and healthier environment. As a response for the publics demand for a cleaner environment, the state Department of Environmental Protection and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency were created.

Through the following events, the DEC and other entities hops to continue the mission of maintaining a cleaner, healthier and well balanced environment.

Event: Old Mastic Earth Day Hike The public is invited on a 2 to 3 mile round trip walk to celebrate Earth Day and National Park Week. Place: Fire Island National Seashore: William Floyd Estate Date: Sunday April 21. Time: 9- 11: 30 a.m. Fee: Free

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Event: National Park Week Old Inlet Breach Hike Celebrate National Park Week and Earth Day with a 3-mile hike Place: Fire Island National Seashore: Wilderness Visitor Center Date: Sunday April 21. Time: 1-3 p.m. Fee: Free

Event: Lyrids Meteor Shower Viewing at State Parks Place: Jones Beach State Park – West End II Place: Goy Alfred E. Smith/Sunken Meadow State Park – Field 3 Place: Montauk Point State Park – Upper Parking Lot Place: Wildwood State Park – Main Parking Lot Date: Sunday April 21 and Monday April 22. Time: Peak time 2 a.m. – 4 a.m. Fee: Free

Event: ‘Be A Good Egg’ Students from the Drexel Elementary School will install signs they have made on the beach as a way to raise awareness about the birds that nest on the sand of N.Y. and N.J. beaches. Place: Theodore Roosevelt Nature Center – Jones Beach State Park Wantagh, NY Date: Monday, April 22. Time: 10 a.m. Fee: Free

Event: The Barns on the Farm The community is welcomed to tour several historic barns on the William Floyd Estate. Place: Fire Island National Seashore: William Floyd Estate Date: April 27. Time: 10- 11 a.m. Fee: Free

Event: Lecture Series: Hurricane Sandy: Before and After The public is invited to attend an indoor presentation detailing how Hurricane Sandy has changed the beach. Place: Fire Island National Seashore: Patchogue-Watch Hill Ferry Terminal Date: April 27. Time: 2 -3 p.m. Fee: Free

Event: In Honor of Trees Journey around the William Floyd Estate to see trees planted by Floyd family members more than 150 years ago Place: Fire Island National Seashore: William Floyd Estate Date: Sunday April 28. Time: 10 – 11:30 a.m. Fee: Free

Event: Heckscher Spring Festival Long Island’s premiere Earth Day Festival Place: Heckscher State Park, Heckscher Parkway Field 1, East Islip N.Y. Date: April 27 and April 28. Time: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. Fee: Free


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Timothy Bolger is the Managing Editor for the Long Island Press who’s been working to uncover unreported stories since shortly after it launched in 2003. When he’s not editing, getting hassled by The Man or fielding cold calls to the newsroom, he covers crime, general interest and political news in addition to reporting longer, sometimes investigative features. He won’t be happy until everyone is as pissed off as he is about how screwed up Lawn Guyland is.